Our First Blog Post

As I’ve said before I’m on a mission to re-invigorate my company. I started by getting my website http://www.marketingmatters.co.za redesigned. It was a combined effort between myself and a great company called Web Guru. I was thrilled to realise that almost everything I’d written 12 years ago was still relevant to both my business, and I believe my clients today. I’d also wanted to write a blog explaining the philosophy behind my company and the website design, and saw that I’d done just that in my first blog post in 2011. (Digital was a completely different landscape at that time) So I’m re-blogging that blog now and I’ll continue to share my thoughts and ideas over the coming months. Let me know your thoughts.


As this is our first blog post, I felt it appropriate to start with an introduction. The philosophy underpinning everything we do at Marketing Matters flows from my belief that empassioned marketing can only be effective if it is understood throughout the value chain. Each link in the chain from raw material suppliers through the various functions within the business, to the retail channels and finally the end user must somehow be engaged in the brand vision. Should this not occur, then discrepancies in behaviour between the vision and the delivery or experience of the brand start to surface, thereby jeopardizing the success of the brand/company.

You may also wonder about the picturesque visuals of an eastern nature that appear on the website and this blog. These represent my belief that there are excellent strategy tools available to us that are derived from ancient Chinese teachings. The key books that…

View original post 230 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Why Marketing Matters?

A blogpost by Jennifer H. Smith (CMSA) 

Dated 1 Dec 2019

On LinkedIn the other day, the anniversary of my 4th year of lecturing at VEGA School of Branding came up, it seemed quite a timeous reminder of four good years of personal growth and giving back to society through lecturing into the various degrees and Honours programmes at the Durban VEGA campus. 

It also comes at a time when I’ve decided to re-invigorate my own company, Marketing Mattersmm, and get back to my passion, which is to help companies grow and become great in whatever industry they are competing in. 

I have been fortunate in that I’ve had some excellent clients during the time I’ve been lecturing, but have only been able to work with a couple of clients at a time due to the time constraints of lecturing. Now I’d like to give my clients and the process of building up my client base, my full attention. 

In order to start this process, I have reviewed my various promotional tools, like my website, company presentation, business card etc.. I also looked at the various services I offer based on 30 years of experience in sales, procurement and brand marketing with some of the world’s top FMCG and skincare brands, as well as my experience in commodity/generic marketing of agricultural products. 12 of the 30 years have been spent working for myself as Marketing Matters. 

I was pleased to realise that my branding is still relevant and salient, my business card will need some tweaks as will my presentations and company profile, but not many, because I took my time 12 years ago to really give careful thought to what my brand was going to stand for and I’ve worked on it as needed over the years. The one aspect I really had to rethink however is my website. It was actually 12 years old. I love it still, but I know its day is done, so I’ve revamped the look, feel and functionality, but retained the content, because that still remains relevant.  

I’m really happy to say that the new website is launching tomorrow, the 3rd December 2019 so you can go to www.marketingmatters.co.za and let me know what you think. My BCom Digital Marketing students will be very happy to hear this news, they’ve been nagging me for quite a few years. 

Whilst going through this process, it was interesting to evaluate my career and company experience, as I was looking for some stats for the website. I calculated that I’ve been in business for 30 years, I’ve worked in over 34 industries and business categories and sub categories and have created strategies and implementation plans for over 75 clients. 

It was this practical experience that made lecturing academic theory really come to life, but it also means that I am able to harness this combination of practical experience with multiple theoretical/academic models to analyse your brand and company and develop strategies with which to solve the brand and business challenges you are facing at the moment.

If you’re curious about my services please have a look at my website at www.marketingmatters.co.za .   I’d also love it if you would connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marketingmatters1963

The Marketing Metrics Training Series

The Marketing Metrics Training Series is an initiative from the team at Marketing Matters which aims at exploring the different systems of measurements in the world of marketing. Therefore, the benefits of this training series are two-fold as it not only helps us to improve our knowledge base and quality of our services but it also allows us to enrich the knowledge base of our clients.

The training series and all the material has been referenced from the book, “Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master” by Farris, PW, Bendle, NT, Pfeifer, PE and Reibstein, DJ.

The methods of training are presented in both video and PowerPoint presentation formats which represent the summaries of each chapter of the above mentioned book. The videos are basic, one-on-one type lectures which have been filmed to enhance the content of the presentations.

The videos can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/mattersmarketing) while the presentations can be found on our Slide Share page (www.slideshare.net/Marketing_Matters). The individual links may also be found on our website. The presentations are available for download in the form of PDF’s and PowerPoint presentations (on our Slide Share page).

For more information regarding the training series or if you would like to find out a bit more about Marketing Matters, please find our details below.

Website: www.marketingmatters.co.za

Contact Person: Jennifer Smith  Contact Details: (+27) 74 1870091 and jennifer@marketingmatters.co.za

Are you contributing to the clutter?

Everyone agrees that Social Media is a great tool for businesses to get their message and brand out there.. But the one question that keeps surfacing is “how long will these services last?”

One reader of a blog we recently subscribed to commented: “Myspace has turned into spam dump. Facebook is getting there slowly but surely, and Twitter is beginning to.” What we have to realise though is that, as with all channels, we have been in an almost frantic state of mind caused by the massive shifts we have seen in the way communication takes place – anyone and everyone who has access to the internet has been trying to get some attention, causing the space we all love to ‘hang out’ in (according to Google+) to become cluttered and noisy.

Some of the leaders in the field have predicted  that 2012 will be the year that we will see this change. Businesses will learn to focus their voice, readers/consumers will be able to control the kinds of communication they receive, and we will see incredible improvements in the way we interact with each other – no matter who it is you find yourself talking to.

To make sure you and your company don’t become social-litterbugs, take a look at some of our pointers below:

  1. Check your account settings – make sure you know who can access any postings you make before you post them.
  2. Check your privacy settings – You need to be sure that you are not revealing more personal information about yourself than is necessary. After all, you don’t give the guy you met in the line at SPAR your home address do you?
  3. Make sure you’re not talking too much.. Just as we take care in our real-world activities to keep from giving away sensitive company information (intellectual property), we should be mindful of what we say online.
  4. No-one likes a fake! Make sure you are completely honest and accurate with the information you’re giving away.
  5. Don’t spam!  80% of the content you put out there needs to be informational – 20% or less should be sales. If you become the authority on your topic, people will look for you when they need your services.. but if you keep “selling” while they want to have a conversation, you will end up annoying the end-user and driving future clients away instead. This is a great example

It’s all about convenience and less noise..

February 2012 has made its appearance, and it seems that the noise on the social media front has increased to an all-time high.  Users are being flooded with predictions, headlines, and cute one-liners to help people face the mountains of work that lie in wait..

Then I stumbled across a really useful article by Social Media Examiner with regards to tools and platforms that are set to help turn down the volume when it comes to social media. We will see tools like Hootsuite and Bufferapp becoming more popular, internet “pin-up boards” like Pinterest will help us organise the looming information overload, and links as long as your arm will become a thing of the past with Bit.ly. Best of all, these tools interact seamlessly with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, your WordPress or Blogger blog and many more – so you can now manage your online presence in all these places from one platform.

As a marketing strategy consultancy, we will be keeping an eye on these developments as they won’t only make your life as an individual easier – it will begin to form part of your company’s marketing strategy as businesses seriously begin to focus their efforts and use social media as a strategic business driver.

One of our new-year’s resolutions will be to initiate our own “SMS-helpline” (Social Media Strategy Support), so if you have any questions or comments let us know: Facebook page / Twitter Profile

Marketing Matters Social Media Blog Series Part 1: Is Social Media a fad or is it the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

Social media is an increasing trend in the 21st century, some may think it is just a fad yet it has actually become a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. The world has become obsessed with anything that is ‘social’ online and this has given marketers access to networks that are instant in response, multimedia rich and ever challenging.

In 2011, social media continued to make a major impact on the promotions of many businesses and brands. Google launched Google+ which cost $500 million in development costs. Twitter and Facebook have become a standard application in most smart phones such as Blackberry and iPhones. Blogging did not ‘die’. Facebook now has over 800 million users and Twitter has over 200 million.

The role of social media in the spreading and sharing of content and improving website and blog search engine optimization has never been more obvious to the professional social media marketer. We will no longer have to search for products and services because they will find us via social media.

“We do not have a choice whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it” – Erik Qualman

The following facts have been obtained from the You Tube videos, The Social Media Revolution (http://bit.ly/z0GH7S), which is based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman:

  1. Social Media is about PEOPLE.
  2. 50% of the World’s population is under the age of 30 years.
  3. Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the US.
  4. Social Media has an impact on our ‘offline’ behaviour. 1 in 5 couples meet online, 3 in 5 gay couples meet online and 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook.
  5. Kindergartens are no longer using chalkboards instead they are using Apple iPad’s!
  6. Over 37 million people have watched the VW Darth Vader advert yet the child actor had never seen Star Wars.
  7. E-readers outsold traditional books on Christmas 2011.
  8. Wikipedia has over 15 million articles, 78% of them are NOT in English.
  9. If Wikipedia was made into a book it would be 2.25 million pages long and it would take 123 years to read.
  10. 10.  90% of all consumers prefer peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements.
  11. 11.  93% of marketers use Social Media for business.
  12. 12.  The ROI (Return of Investment) of Social Media means that your business will still exist in 5 years.
  13. 13.  Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the internet.
  14. 14.  Only 18% of traditional TV adverts generate a positive ROI.
  15. 15.  90% of people will skip adverts on TV between programs.
  16. 16.  24 out of the 25 largest newspapers are in decline.

We no longer search for the news because the news finds us. We will no long search for products and services because they will find us via social media. Social Media Marketing allows us to LISTEN FIRST and SELL SECOND.


DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 9: And in closing…

There were approximately 80 delegates who attended the conference and many of these individuals were representatives of some of South Africa’s leading companies. These companies include Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Mondi, ABSA Bank, The Mercury, Old Mutual and many other top South African brands.

It is simply not possible to decide which topic was the most important as each topic is highly relevant for strategic marketers today. The first two topics are important for marketers as it helps them to develop strategies to adapt to changing financial and economic trends. The impact of technology on marketing is also a very important topic as technology and social media is a dominant force in this day and age. No matter what we do in life we are always governed by laws and rules so the talk on the Consumer Protection Act is a vital topic which will help marketers to obey all rules and regulations when it comes to selling their products and services to consumers. The concept of Green marketing is a fairly new topic and it is also extremely vital in times where there are many laws with regard to the protection of the environment. And finally, the exciting and new concept of Social marketing was also a highly relevant topic at this conference as it helps to broaden the body of knowledge for strategic marketers.

The fact that marketing departments are often the first to be affected by budget cuts in companies was a constant topic of discussion during the conference. Everyone was constantly reminded that marketers are STRATEGIC BUSINESS PEOPLE and if this idea is adopted in every company it will certainly help to improve the status of marketers within a business.

Jennifer Smith and the rest of the Marketing Matters team would like to extend a big thank you to all the organizers, speakers and attendees of the conference. The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry deserve a mention and in particular, Mrs Jane Pillay. The sponsors of the conference, Softline Pastel and The Mercury, also deserve a word of thanks. Without all the speakers and Jeremy Maggs, this conference would have not been the successes that it was therefore the above mentioned individuals all deserve the appreciation of those who attended the conference. It can be said again that this conference was a great success and the planning of the next conference is already well underway. We look forward to planning and attending an even bigger and better Durban Chamber’s Marketing Matter’s Strategic Conference in 2012.

DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 8: ‘Social Marketing for Positive Behaviour Change’ by Nonjabulo Hlengwa

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketing Matters Conference welcomed a total of seven speakers from very different segments of the strategic marketing industry. The speakers were all assigned a session of approximately an hour and these were followed by another short session which allowed the audience to ask questions about certain aspects from the presentation. Therefore there were a total of seven sessions that ran throughout the day and they covered topics such as the advances of technology and its impact of marketers, social marketing, ‘green’ marketing the King III report and other relevant strategic marketing topics.

The final session involved a presentation by Nonjabulo Hlengwa and she spoke about ‘Social Marketing for Positive Behaviour Change’.

Hlengwa is a proud African woman and she currently holds the position of the General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Transnet. She has many years’ experience in both the advertising and marketing industries, and her specialization now lies in Social Marketing- specifically behaviour change. She has been on a USA Road show where she lectured on social marketing, but she currently deals with strategic marketing and corporate affairs at Transnet.

She adopted the idea that marketing is no longer just about growing your market share, but that marketing practitioners need to move beyond the classical 4 P’s and companies should focus on creating common goals for the company as a whole. Her speech aimed at using social marketing for positive behaviour change which would lead the company towards a legacy.

The whole idea of Social Marketing is defined in Kotler (2005) the application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution and evaluation of programmes designed to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of their society. Nonjabulo preferred to constantly refer to Social Marketing as ‘Behaviour Change’ and it seems very appropriate as that is what the trend of marketing is all about.

This was certainly a new marketing topic and Nonjabulo presented the concept in a very understandable and impressive way. It made it accessible to non-marketers and strategic marketers alike and it is very likely that many of them were itching to get their teeth into a social marketing campaign now.


DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 7: ‘Consumer Protection Act: How does it impact marketers?’ by Advocate Neville Melville

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketing Matters Conference welcomed a total of seven speakers from very different segments of the strategic marketing industry. The speakers were all assigned a session of approximately an hour and these were followed by another short session which allowed the audience to ask questions about certain aspects from the presentation. Therefore there were a total of seven sessions that ran throughout the day and they covered topics such as the advances of technology and its impact of marketers, social marketing, ‘green’ marketing the King III report and other relevant strategic marketing topics.

The penultimate session focused on the topic of the Consumer Protection Act which was been affective since April 2011. Advocate Neville Melville presented a talk on the ‘Consumer Protection Act: How does it impact marketers?’

Advocate Neville Melville is a specialist in consumer matters. He served as Ombudsman for Banking Services for seven years, during which time he participated in the consultative processes that led up to the declaration of the Consumer Protection Act. He now acts as a company director, legal, management and Consumer Protection Act consultant, trainer and implementer. He is the author of the best-selling Consumer Protection Act made easy, which is now in its second edition.

Advocate Melville began with an explanation of the newly implemented CPA and how it has changed the game plan for anyone involved in marketing.  His presentation covered all aspects of the interface with customers, including the prohibition on discriminatory marketing, the need for full and honest disclosure and dealing fairly with consumers.

He clearly spelt out the practices which are specifically forbidden by the CPA and the new requirements for holding competitions. Within that context, he elaborated on how the CPA has made it easier for businesses to transform the ways in which they interact with their consumers, as well as the process of aiding companies in the implementation of consumer interaction. It must be said that Advocate Melville really made a long and complicated act appear really simple and straightforward.

There were a number of aspects within the act that people hadn’t registered before, and these are what stood out the most, for example the price of any retail item has to be displayed to all consumers in the shop or warehouse and the fact that the act only deals with products and services that are for human consumption.

The idea of coming to grips with an Act can be a very daunting for some but, in his own words, Advocate Neville Melville ‘made it easy’ to understand the new Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 6: ‘Hot, Flat and Crowded’ by Wayne Phillips

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketing Matters Conference welcomed a total of seven speakers from very different segments of the strategic marketing industry. The speakers were all assigned a session of approximately an hour and these were followed by another short session which allowed the audience to ask questions about certain aspects from the presentation. Therefore there were a total of seven sessions that ran throughout the day and they covered topics such as the advances of technology and its impact of marketers, social marketing, ‘green’ marketing the King III report and other relevant strategic marketing topics.

The next topic of discussion focussed on how marketers can use opportunities that are presented by ‘Green’ marketing and this topic was conveyed through a talk by Wayne Phillips called ‘Hot, Flat and Crowded’ in which he discussed green marketing and the Triple Bottom Line (TBL).

Wayne Phillips is one of South Africa’s chartered marketers, he is the CEO of Better, the director at International Leisure Consultants and he has performed corporate development at the Rhythmic Beat Group. He specialises in sustainable top line growth strategies, strategic marketing and the TBL.

The talk was based on the book Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas. L. Friedman and with his experience in green marketing, Phillips presented a hard-hitting speech on the dangers of only focussing on the single rather than the triple bottom line and how this paradigm shift is necessary for any business to survive.

Once again it was difficult to choose merely one aspect from the speech but the idea of what ‘green’ actually means for a business stood out the most. It was once again very interesting to note that there is actually a code for responsible investing in South Africa (CRISA) and that they require us to keep our business and marketing practices green. The major implications of the code are to ensure that businesses focus on sustainability and that corporate governance has to be carefully managed and communicated.

Phillips also shared his knowledge on the ‘greening’ of a business as well as a few aspects about the Kyoto Protocol (an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). He discussed many aspects such as sustainability, fossil fuels, carrying capacity of the Earth, alternative power production sources (solar, wind, hydro etc.) and many other environmental aspects that businesses should adopt in order to achieve a ‘green’ business. These concepts proved to be extremely relevant as they were discussed at the same time as the COP17 conference in Durban.

This new topic is certainly a very interesting point of discussion and there is still such a huge body of knowledge that still remains to be researched. After a brief conversation with Mr Phillips, it was discovered that the topic of ‘green’ marketing has a huge scope of work available for students and corporates alike and although it is still a new trend it will definitely become even more popular in a very short period of time. A ‘green’ business is and will be the word on everybody’s lips and it has certainly become an increasingly common trend in today’s world.